Dr. Herbert Pardes, chief psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Medical Center, will be escorted to the National Institute of Mental Health by Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr. today to be disclosed as NIMH's new boss.
Califano chose Pardes, it was learned, after a long search that started after he praised but then fired longtime NIMH director Bertram S. Brown last December as part of what he called a drive for "new blood."
Califano has also transferred the director of HEW's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and told the director of HEW's National Institute on Drug Abuse that he, too, should move on.
The alcohol institute director, Dr. Ernest Noble, has said he may fight the action since he held a civil service job and felt he should not have been removed except for cause. Sources in HEW said yesterday that Noble has been encouraged to do so by some directors of the similar disease-fighting institutes at HEW's National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
"It's pretty unusual for the secretary to appear with a new institute director," said one HEW official who declined to be named. "I would expect Mr. Califano will say that he asks only excellence and he'll back everyone who does a good job."
The NIMH will get a large part of the job of implementing the April recommendations of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which was headed by Rosalynn Carter.This will mean trying to redirect many mental health services, with only modest increases in the HIMH budget.